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Thread: Never kebab pineapple next to meat

  1. #1
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    Never kebab pineapple next to meat

    I made some Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs for dinner the other night. Started with a couple BSCB, cut into about 1" pieces on Sunday night and dusted with some "Sweet Rub O' Mine". At the same time, I hacked up a pineapple into similar sized chunks and stored them in a separate container. Monday after work, I diced up a green pepper and a red onion, then skewered them all together (onion > chicken > pineapple > pepper > repeat). After grilling direct about 5 minutes per side, I brushed on some King's Hawaiian Original BBQ sauce (which, BTW, is quite good...not at sweet as I thought it would be). They came out pretty good:



    However, the chicken had a decidedly mushy or maybe even grainy texture to it. I suspect that it was the proximity to the pineapple combined with the heat (heat pushes liquid out of pineapple, chicken absorbs it). I know (from Good Eats) that pineapple is high in bromelain, which is an enzyme that helps to break down meat fibers for digestion. In this case, the breakdown just happened while cooking rather than after eating. The whole chicken/pineapple/pepper/onion combo is still delicious (esp. with that sauce), but next time, I'll just keep the pineapple away from the protein on the kebab.
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  2. #2
    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    Good looking Kabobs! Good info on the pineapple next to the chicken chunks
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  3. #3
    TVWBB Wizard Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Yep Chad, that's exactly what happened but, I'm a little surprised that it happened that quickly. I have had the same thing happen when someone decided that pineapple juice would be a great marinade, almost turned the chicken to goo!
    The same enzymatic thing happens with citrus and things like scallops or shrimp. Doggone it, I just finished breakfast and I want some grilled shrimp!
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    TVWBB Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    A while back I decided to cook the protein separate from the veggies and fruit. I put the protein on it's own skewers. I like this much better especially if I'm basting the veggies and fruit and not the protein or the other way around. Also helps with the different cooking times.
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    TVWBB Wizard Bob Bass's Avatar
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    Chad,

    Along with Pineapple's bromelain enzyme, another equally good tenderizer is the papain enzyme found in Papaya.

    Due to it's acidic nature, Buttermilk can also be used for tenderizing.
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  6. #6
    TVWBB Wizard Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    Good points Rich and Bob!
    I too have opted to do proteins on their own skewer, I remember the "Beef, It's what's for Dinner" campaign with James Garner espousing the merit of skewering separately.
    Bob, I don't use much papaya but, you have a valuable point there too.
    I do use buttermilk on chicken quite often though.
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  7. #7
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    I still remember (back in the 80s) the time I rubbed kiwi on a steak and let it sit for 5 minutes before grilling and it turned out with the texture a lot like wet cardboard.

    When I skewer kabobs I keep like with like; meat with meat, onions with onions, etc. They all cook at the same time that way.
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  8. #8
    TVWBB Hall of Fame Clint's Avatar
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    well it sure looks good - I read something about that earlier too..... I've bought a few pineapples lately, I just slice em up and eat it raw, sometimes throw some in a baggie & take it with me.

  9. #9
    TVWBB Gold Member JRAiona's Avatar
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    I've heard about that as well. Those kabobs look awesome though.
    Food is the ultimate passion. It's neccesity and indulgence all in one

  10. #10
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    That's how yakitoris are done. Each little skewer holds only all chicken thighs, all chicken breasts, all hearts, all livers, all mushrooms, all beef, all asparagus, all tongue, or all whatever....
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